Swine Flu-inspired video game

How do you fight against swine flu? That’s easy.

Keep your immune system strong, eat healthy, always wash your hands and uhmn, keep your eyes glued on the computer?

Yup, doing the latter will help you fight the emerging outbreak…in a video game, that is.

Dutch researchers, in an effort to further raise awareness, have created a game that challenges players to control the AH1N1 virus.

The video game “The Great Flu” is for free and it can only be played online on its website.

“It is actually what is happening now, what is happening in the real world,” said Albert Osterhaus, head of virology at the Erasmus Medical Center, who designed game with colleagues.

In the game, players assume the role of the head of the fictitious “World Pandemic Control”. To fight the emerging virus outbreak, players can do a number of preventive measures such as setting up surveillance systems, stockpiling antivirals and vaccines, and closing schools and airports.

The game is also very realistic, giving players a limited financial budget and even mirroring problems faced by international agencies like WHO through messages from governments flashed on the screen during the game.

In a report from the AP, Osterhaus says that through the game gives people a sense of how difficult it is o make decision in the public health world.

So what does WHO say about the game? Well, the guys there haven’t played it yet so they’re still unavailable for comment. 😉

Source: http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/20090817/ap_on_hi_te/eu_med_swine_flu_game

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